Apolonia Ancient Art offers ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian works of art Apolonia Ancient Art
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1281362
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,265.00
This superb vessel is a Moche stirrup vessel that dates circa 300-400 A.D., Moche III Period. This piece is approximately 7.5 inches high, and is in intact condition with vibrant dark red and cream colors. This striking vessel has some minute black spotty mineral deposits and root marking, and has a nice even glaze. This piece is a lustrous deep dark red stirrup vessel, with a cream colored body, and the decorative elements seen on the main body of this vessel are also rendered in a dark red color. These decorative elements are comprised of two anthropomorphic figures seen moving to the right, with snake-headed tails and trailing snake-headed headdress/ears; and three snakes, with one seen between the stirrup handle, and two others which act as a dividing panel for each of the moving figures. These moving figures are also seen with a serpent-like and/or Iguana-like head, and a single human leg and arm which are extended away from the body, and this Moche convention of art is meant to convey that these figures are in motion. In addition, these figures are seen holding a sacrificial tumi knife in each hand, which may be an indication that this vessel portrays a sacrificial scene, as these moving figures may also be portraying Moche priests in costume who are engaged in a ceremonial sacrificial scene as "spirit gods". These moving figures also appear to be confronting the two facing snakes, and these facing snakes may also be seen as "spiritual sacrificial victims". According to Christopher Donnan in "Moche Fineline Painting: Its Evolution and Its Artists", UCLA Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, Ca., 1999, p. 196-197, Donnan comments further on Moche ceramics of this type: "The paintings of several other artists are stylistically similar to those of the Madrid Painter and the Larco Painter. All are on similar stirrup spout bottles with red spouts and white chambers. Both the red and white slips on these bottles were well prepared. They are covered evenly and completely, with none of the underlying color bleeding through. They painted fineline designs in red slip and added details either by overpainting or the cut-slip technique. Careful burnishing produced a handsome surface luster. These features are very distinctive amoung Phase III painted vessels. Perhaps they were produced in a single workshop." (See attached photo from the above reference, Fig. 6.19, that shows an analogous spiritual figure as seen on the vessel offered here. This piece also shows this figure holding a sacrificial head by the hair. This piece was also classified as being stylistically similar to the Madrid Painter.) The piece offered here is very close stylistically to the Madrid Painter, and may be by this painter and/or an individual who worked in his workshop. Moche vessels of this type are now scarce on the market, as they were only produced during the Phase III Period, and are of an extremely high artistic style. Overall, this piece is a superb intact example with vibrant colors, and is also likely by the Madrid Painter and/or his workshop. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, Germany, circa 1980-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL authenticity test document from Gutachten Lab, Germany, no. 219005, dated 05-15-1990.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1234381
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,875.00
This scarce piece is an extremely large Mayan green jadeite tube that dates circa 600-900 A.D. This solid piece is approximately 8.5 inches long by 1.4 inches in diameter, and has a beautiful dark to light green color. The beautiful stone seen here is likely jadeite, rather than serpentine, as it is extremely dense. This interesting piece has a bow-drilled hole at each end which connect near the center, and the bow-drilled holes are approximately .5 to .6 inches in diameter which also slightly narrow within the tube. There is also a layer of gray calcite deposits seen on the inner surfaces, and a light mineralized patina on the outer surfaces as well. This piece is also not perfectly round, has a somewhat rectangular shape, and has a great deal of eye appeal. There is a very strong possibility that this scarce piece was used in Mayan smoking ceremonies, and/or may have been used in Mayan regalia and served as a decorative item in a headdress, a necklace, or a sacred ceremonial object. This piece is also somewhat heavy, as it is likely a dense green jadeite which was sacred to the Maya. According to Francis Robicsek, in "The Smoking Gods", University of Oklahoma Press, 1978, p. 73, Robicsek elaborates on the forehead tube that was used to identify God K: "Forehead tube thought to represent a cigar. This is a fairly constant trademark of this deity. The identification of God K of any portrait lacking the forehead tube is suspect. It is nearly always present on ceramic representations and on stone carvings, but is usually absent from paintings in the codices. The object may be tubular or funnel-shaped, or it may resemble a celt. Sometimes it is undecorated, but more often it is striated, dotted, or marked with oval symbols. It also varies greatly in size and, if painted, in color. As a rule the tube emerges from the forehead; however, in two paintings, both of them on Peten ceramics, it protrudes from the mouth. On most portrayals the handle of the tube is sunk into the head and it is not visible; on others it emerges at the nape. As discussed earlier, these tubes probably represent cigars, but the possibility that they may represent torches or celts cannot be excluded." In addition, the piece offered here may also have been used by the Maya relative to the relationship of the royal elite to God K, and may have been used by the Maya as noted above in some capacity as a decorative element and/or used relative to the smoking culture of the ancient Maya. This piece also sits on a custom display stand. Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1980's. Ex: Walter Knox collection, Phoenix, AZ., Ex: Private CO. collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1162134
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,675.00
This interesting piece is an Aztec flint blade which dates circa 1400-1525 A.D. This piece is approximately 6.3 inches high by 2.5 inches wide. This piece is intact, save for a minute chip at one end, and has a beautiful light brown patina with some spotty black mineral deposits. This piece has a small hole near the center of the piece, and this hole is full of minute crystals which are imbedded in the inner cavity, and run to the outer edge of the hole on each side of the piece. It's quite possible that the small hole with crystals was formed from constant mineral drippings, as this piece may have been a ceremonial offering that was buried in a cave or underground tomb. It is interesting to note that the crystals not only extend to the outer edge on each side of the hole, but also over both edges on each side of the piece, and onto the outer carved/chipped planes of the outer flat surfaces near the edge of each side of the hole. This is an indication that the crystal mineralization, and the hole seen on this piece, developed after this piece was carved and buried. The patina and the mineralization are also excellent indicators which go far in establishing the authenticity of this piece, and there are many forgeries of this type of piece that have been on the market. The carving of this piece is exceptional and very well detailed as well, as one can easily see that the carved/chipped planes become smaller towards the edge of the piece, and this forms a blade of elliptical form that has extremely sharp edges. Aztec blades of this type have been used as a lance or knife blade, but the piece offered here was likely used only in a votive context. The flint stone of this piece is also semi-translucent, and according to Eduardo Matos Moctezuma in "The Great Temple of the Aztecs: Treasures of Tenochtitlan", Thames and Hudson Pub., London, 1988, p. 97: "Many objects of flint and obsidian, locally available raw materials, were also made by the Aztec artisans to be deposited in caches. Flint was most frequently chipped into knives and blades. Some of these knives were decorated with with bits of shell and stone mosaic to form little faces in profile, resembling representations of the flint day sign in the Borbonicus. Similarly, obsidian (a volcanic glass) was chipped to form knives and blades with sharp cutting edges, but it was also carefully worked and polished into miniature imitations, such as small heads and rattles of the rattlesnake. Obsidian is an extremely dense and glassy stone, and is a difficult material to work; such miniatures attest to the skill of the Aztec craftsmen. While flint and obsidian implements symbolically and functionally evoke sacrifice and death, more overt evidence of ritual acts can be found in the numerous examples of worked crania. Sometimes a flint knife is placed between the teeth, like a tongue projecting from a grinning mouth, at other times another knife is inserted into the nasel cavity to create an animated image of death. We do not know wheather these objects were used as masks in rituals, or wheather they were made as symbols of death and sacrifice to be placed in offerings." (See attached photo from the text above, p. 98, ill. 80, of a skull mask with two analogous flint blades such as the example offered here.) The piece offered here was likely cermonial and was votive, but in exactly what context it was used, that is not certain, but whatever the case, the piece offered here is an extremely interesting and rare example of the type. This piece also comes with a custom wooden display stand, and can easily be removed. Ex: Private North Carolina collection, circa 1990's. Ex: H. Rose collection, New York. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Metalwork : Pre AD 1000 item #1226590
Apolonia Ancient Art
$8,765.00
This powerful piece is a Chimu culture silver mask that dates circa Late Intermediate Period, 1000-1400 A.D. This piece is has a Lambayeque Valley, Peru, type of design, and is approximately 11.75 inches wide by 6 inches high by 1.2 inches in relief. This piece is also a large example for the type, and has silver with added copper metal plate. This piece also has a thin applied coat of original spotty red cinnabar than runs through the flat center section of the piece. This intact piece has a "box-type" nose construction, and is attached to the main body of the piece with folded over tabs. There are decorative small hand beaten rounded dot patterns, that are seen at each end of the ear sections, and these ear sections also show a rounded design which resemble ear spools. These main body of this piece is divided into three sections, and the middle section is the nose and "line-formed" mouth which is the focus of this piece, and the eyes seen in each of the two outer sections, frame the entire compact design of the face. On the back side of this piece, there are some textile remains seen between the main body of the piece and the "box-type" constructed nose section. This piece covered a "mummy-bundle" which was also wrapped in textiles, and this piece was likely wrapped around the face of the mummy along with additional textile wrapping. Depending on the status and wealth of the deceased, these Chimu masks could be of ceramic, of wood, or even cloth, but those of the most powerful were of gold and silver. This piece also has a dark gray patina, with several minute spotty black mineral deposits. Another analogous example of nearly the same size can be seen in Bonham's African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian Art, Nov.2013, no. 33. ($4,000.00-$6,000.00 estimates, $11,875.00 realised.) This piece is also mounted within a black wooden shadow box, and clear Velcro tabs securely hold it into place which attaches this piece to the black backing. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1331598
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
This attractive brownware ceramic is a Mayan carved bowl that dates circa 550-950 A.D. This piece is approximately 9.75 inches in diameter, by 3.7 inches high. This powerful looking piece has a flat bottom with gently curved side walls, and this design made it very easy for catching liquids. This piece has detailed deep carving, within three rectangular panels, and this skilled carving is in the form of a head commonly known as a "Long-Lipped Monster", and was described as such in the Sotheby's reference noted below. This type of Mayan image is rare, although it is a known image relative to Mayan iconography. This rare image is designed in glyph form, and is comprised of a scroll eye, upturned snout, bared fangs, smoke scrolls curling at the back, and sections of crosshatched elements. Each of the three rectangular panels are also separated by two smooth petalled-shaped motifs, and the entire bowl thus has a floral-like appearance. The "Long-Lipped Monster" image depicted here may also represent what is known in Mayan iconography as a "Square-Nosed Serpent" image. According to Andrea Stone and Marc Zender in "Reading Maya Art, A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Maya Painting and Sculpture", Thames and Hudson, London, 2011, p. 227: "This logograph combines ophidian and floral elements in the form of a band that makes several 90-degree turns, suggesting the upturned snout of a sinuous serpent. Eye and nose rest atop the band and beneath are several curly fangs and no lower jaw. This 'square' or 'fret-nosed serpent' is a prominent, albeit esoteric, feature of Maya art. It seems to embody a radiant life force, expelled through the mouth, nose, or center of a flower, and dispersed throughout the universe, much like mana in Polynesia." This logograph is also associated with Mayan ceremonial bloodletting, and it is also quite possible that the Mayan bowl offered here was a part of this ceremony, and this bowl is in essence, a Mayan ceremonial offering bowl. This vessel also has a light yellow/brown polychrome slip seen both over the inner and outer surfaces, and each of the three rectangular panels have traces of white stucco and red cinnabar that are seen down within the low relief areas of the deep carvings. The carvings seen within each of the three rectangular panels are nearly identical, and were each carved individually, such was the skill of the artist. In addition, the inner surface has a black band seen at the rim and a black circle applied to the inner flat base, and resembles a target for ceremonial bloodletting into the vessel. It's also interesting to note that the color red also contrasts with black, and is easily seen. There is also some attractive and extensive root marking and dark black/brown burnishing seen mostly on the inner surfaces, and there are also some spotty minute dark black mineral deposits which are normally seen on authentic vessels of this type. This piece is also 100% original, and was repaired from three large fragments. This limited repair also appears to have been done some time ago. The interior of the bowl is smooth, and also has a thin polychrome glaze on both the inner and outer surfaces. Overall, this piece is a fine example of a carved Mayan vessel, and the detailed and deep carving also gives this piece powerful eye appeal. Ex: Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, May 1995, no. 170. ($2,500.00-$3,000.00 estimates.) Ex: Private CA. collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1239393
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,265.00
This attractive piece is a Vicus culture seated figurine that dates circa 200 B.C.-300 A.D. This piece is approximately 6.9 inches high, and is in mint to superb condition with no repair/restoration. This piece has a pleasing nice deep reddish-brown glaze, and has some minute root marking and some light blue/black spotty mineral deposits. This piece is a stirrup-type vessel, and it has a flat bottom. The legs and arms are seen tucked in close to the seated body, and this figurine seems to exhibit an inner core that is changing from an animal form to a human form, or vice-versa. This piece is classified as a "transformation type" ceramic, and this can especially be seen with the human facial features relative to the almond shaped eyes and well defined nose. The wide mouth appears to exhibit this change as well, as does the dual lobbed head which is an anthropomorphic animal feature which is attributed to an animal such as a monkey. This piece is also an excellent example of a ceramic from the Vicus culture of ancient Peru, due to the reasons noted above, and most pieces from this culture seem to exhibit some form of "transformation" from one degree to another. This piece is also "thick walled", and has some weight to the piece. The early Peruvian ceramics from this culture were also fired at about 400 degrees C, thus producing a "thick walled" ceramic, as opposed to the subsequent Peruvian cultures such as the Moche, which produced "thin walled" ceramics which were fired at about 1000 degrees C. This piece is also analogous to an example seen in "Arts Ancient du Perou" by Bernard Villaret, Times Editions Pub., 1978, p. 51. (See attached photo.) This piece has some weight, as one handles this piece, and is in scarce mint condition with a vibrant deep reddish-brown glaze. Ex: Dr. Ernst J. Fischer collection, Germany, circa 1980's. Ex: Auktion Ketterer 119, Zurich, 1987. Ex: Private German collection. Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL test from Gutachten Lab., 11/23/1984, no. 584912. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1169806
Apolonia Ancient Art
$6,875.00
This large piece is a "Veracruz" culture standing priest, Remojadas type, that dates from the Classic period, circa 450-650 A.D. This piece is approximately 22.5 inches high, and easily stands by itself on a custom wooden stand. This piece is of an artistic style, known as "Remojadas", which is the name of a particular archaeological site, although objects in closely related styles actually come from a number of different sites in Veracruz. The name "Remojadas" thus refers to objects from south-central Veracruz, generally from the Classic-period. This piece is also known as a "Xipe-Toltec" type priest, as he portrays the god in costume. The "Xipe-Toltec" cult flourished along the Gulf Coast of modern day Mexico during the Classic and early Postclassic periods before gaining a prominent place in the Aztec pantheon, probably as a result of the subsequent Aztec domination of the Gulf Coast in the mid-15th century. Most Xipe figures vividly depict a human inside a flayed skin of another man, and this god was known as "Our Lord the Flayed One". According to Charles Phillips in "Aztec and Maya", Lorenz Pub., London, 2007, p. 62: "Victims killed in honour of Xipe Totec, the god of planting and vegetation, were shot with arrows so that their blood flowed into the earth like life-giving waters. Indeed, the Aztecs called human blood "chalchiuatl" (precious water). The corpse was then flayed and a priest would wear the skin in honour of the god. The rite was a celebration of the splitting of seeds that makes possible the growth of new vegetation each spring." Mary Miller and Karl Taube in "Ancient Mexico and the Maya", Thames and Hudson Pub., London, 1993, p. 188 also add: "At the time of the Conquest the Xipe festival fell during the spring, in our month of March, and much of its imagery suggests agricultural renewal: as a seed germinates, it feeds off the rotting hull around it, finally letting the new shoot emerge. The Xipe impersonators wore the old skins until they were rotten, when the young man once again emerged." The Xipe-Toltec piece offered here displays a priest wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim, as seen with the rolled skin folds seen hanging below the neck, the skin leggings, the skin bundles tied at the back shoulder and the right hip, and the human skin mask. There are black-bitumen painted highlights seen on the headband with medallions, earplugs, lips, and eyes. There are also black-bitumen painted extruded eyeballs that are seen hanging from the eye openings, and the black lips accentuate an open mouth that shows this dramatic figurine chanting in a ritual posture. This expressive figure is also holding a floral designed fan with petals, which may represent the Xipe ritual of regeneration. This piece is made from a light gray terracotta, and has light tan mineral deposits. This piece was repaired from several large fragments, which is usually the case for large-scale Veracruz pieces such as this, and this piece is a better example than what is usually seen. The floral fan is an attribute that is seldom seen as well, and this is a principle reason why this large example is a scarce to rare type. The floral fan also indicates that the individual depicted is likely in the act of performing the "Xipe-Toltec" regeneration ceremony, along with the fact that this priest is seen with an open mouth who appears to be chanting in the act of the regeneration ceremony which ensured the planting and growth of the new years crops. The majority of these figurines are seen simply standing in an upright position, and are not seen holding any implements of any sort, but more importantly, the majority of these Veracruz "Xipe-Toltec" figurines do not display a dramatic facial expression such as this example. (Another Veracruz "Remojadas" example of this type and of the same size is offered in Bonhams African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Nov. 2012, no. 3. $8,000.00-$12,000.00 estimates, $10,000.00 realized.) For the type offered here see: "Ancient Art of Veracruz", Ethnic Arts Council of Los Angeles, 1971, no. 31. Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Bonhams Art & Artifacts of the Americas auction, San Francisco, Sept. 2012, no. 1039. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1295673
Apolonia Ancient Art
Sold
This scarce Pre-Columbian piece is a Mayan cylinder that dates Late Classic, circa 550-950 A.D. This attractive piece is approximately 6.25 inches high, by 4.75 inches in diameter. This superb to mint quality vessel is a "Molded Orangeware Vessel", El Salvador/Honduras region, that has mold made impressions seen within two box-shaped fields seen on each side of the vessel. Each box-shaped field has a running Mayan priest/dignitary holding an elongated rectangular object in his extended right hand, and the other panel shows the exact same image, as it was stamped with the same mold. This running Mayan priest/dignitary, seen within both panels, has his head placed within a raptorial beaked bird, which may represent a sacred "Moan Bird", and this raptorial beaked bird is likely a ceremonial headdress. This individual is also seen wearing royal ear flares and bracelets, a sashed loincloth, and has a smoke scroll emerging from his forehead. There is also a stippled woven mat pattern seen in the background, and the overall composition on both panels have sharp details and is better than most examples. The image within one panel is slightly sharper than the other, as the same mold was used to stamp each side. This intact piece has some spotty black dotted mineral deposits, some minute root marking, and some attractive dark brown burnishing. An analogous example is seen in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Nov. 24, 1986, no. 127. ($1,500.00-$2,500.00 estimates, $2,750.00 realized. See attached photo.) Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1980's. Ex: Private CA. collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1276371
Apolonia Ancient Art
$12,800.00
This extra large Mayan tripod plate dates circa 600-900 A.D., and is approximately 15.75 inches in diameter by 4 inches high. This piece has been attributed to the Peten region of the Yucatan Peninsula, and is an exceptional example for the type. This appealing piece has very vibrant dark orange/red, white, black, and light blue/gray colors. This piece has three legs, along with an esoteric upward sloping bowl which has the multi-colored polychrome glaze on the top inner side of the vessel, and a light brown terracotta on the underside of the vessel. This piece has a "serpent band" that is seen running around the inner edge of the plate, and this has two symbols that alternate and appear to interlock within the design. These symbols may be celestial in nature, and frame the Mayan cartouche glyph that is seen in the field in the center of the plate. This Mayan cartouche glyph also has an inner central glyph, which resembles a face with an open mouth. This glyph is the Mayan glyph "Ajaw", meaning "lord". According to Dr. Mark Van Stone, Professor of Art History, Southwestern College, and noted Maya expert specializing in Mayan hieroglyphs and calligraphy, who also co-authored the book "Reading the Maya Glyphs", commented the following regarding this piece: "Now, that date in the center is pretty unusal. It recalls the Ajaw Alters we find at Caracol and some other sites: a round alter with a text encircling a huge Ajaw date, which marks the "name" (the last day) of a "Period Ending" (usually a K'atun-end). It is a normal "Ajaw" day sign in its normal cartouche, surmounted by a numeral 13, to read "13 Ajaw", a date of important augury, as 13 was the number with the most power, and a period-ending on "13 Ajaw" was really significant. (It was the date chosen by Carl Johan Calleman for his calculation of the "End of the World"-11th Oct. 2011, in contrast to the more popular "4 Ajaw PE"-21st Dec. 2012.) In any event, it's perfectly legible, and the kind of thing that would be learned first by a student scribe." This scarce to rare piece has a cartouche date glyph that is a marker to an important event, and/or refers to an event in the Mayan calendar, and the cartouche date glyph seen on this piece is a significant example, as noted above by Dr. Mark Van Stone. The number "13", associated with the cartouche date glyph, is easily seen and represented by two bars and three dots that are attached to the top of the cartouche date glyph. This piece has some minor repair/crack fill from three large fragments, and is 99-100% original. There is also some attractive root marking seen in various sections of the piece, along with some minute black spotty mineral deposits. This piece is a large and rare Mayan plate with extremely rare symbols and is seldom seen on the market. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. A TL authenticity test is available from Gutachten Lab, Germany, no. 18611, dated Jan. 7th, 1986. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1236064
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,675.00
This lively piece is a black ware Chimu ceramic that dates circa 900-1470 A.D. This piece is approximately 8.8 inches high, and is intact in superb to mint condition. This piece has an even deep black glaze, and has some white calcite deposits which are heavier in the low relief sections of the conical base. The conical base has three registers, which have impressed triangle and square designs, and the square boxes have "step-pyramid" designs seen within. The head of this duck also has a very lively designed eye, and there are two molded legs seen below as well. The designs seen on the conical base are also artistic hallmarks of the Chimu culture, and these designs and type of conical base are typical Chimu attributes. This piece is an exceptional example of Chimu blackware, and is an excellent animal type Chimu ceramic. Ex: Dr. Ernst J. Fischer collection, Germany, circa 1970's. (Note additional documentation is available to the buyer.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #853880
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
This rare vessel is from the Moche culture, that dwelled in modern day northern Peru, dates circa 500-700 A.D. and is from the Moche IV phase of ceramic development. This piece is intact with no repair/restoration, is in superb condition, and is approximately 8.25 inches high. This red-brown and cream colored ceramic is a rare piece, as it is a type of vessel known as a "sacrificial rite vessel". This piece has six figures on the vessel including a Moche standing owl deity seen at the center, a sea lion, a cormorant, a hooded male figure, an ocean skate(?), and a crab. All of the five figures that run around the main body of this stirrup-type vessel are all seen emerging from the background, and may represent their emerging into or from the spirit world. These figures are seen in high relief from the main body of the vessel, as they were individually mold made, and this production process took a great deal of skill and time relative to intregrating these images into the production of this ceramic. The standing owl deity seen at the center, which may also represent a priest in costume, is also the Moche deity that is seen in the "Presentation Theme", which is a Moche ceremony of sacrifice as defined by Christopher Donnan. (See "Moche Art of Peru" by Christopher Donnan, University of California, Los Angeles, CA., 1978, pp.158-174.) This Moche owl deity, seen in the "Presentation Theme" as defined by Donnan which is also identified as "Figure B", is a priest seen in an owl-hooded costume holding a goblet with blood from the sacrifice. There are also other known Moche ceramic vessels that portray this figure, as seen in the work noted above (Nos. 248 and 271.). The owl was sacred to the Moche because of it's night vision and sharp hunting skills at night, and because of their nocturnal nature, they were associated with death and were thought to travel between the living and spirit world. There are examples of Moche ceramics with a captive tied to the back of the owl, and this may represent the owl carrying the captive to the other world. The standing owl, seen in combination with the five figures that run around the main body of this vessel, are all related to Moche ceremony and sacrifice. The active red-brown sea lion depicted on this piece shows several round objects, seen at the front of the eye and on the stomach area, and are round stones that the sea lions frequently cough up when they are hunted. These stones were considered sacred by the Moche and were thought to have extremely powerful medicinal properties. The lively artistic style of the sea lion is exceptional, and has a great deal of expression. The hooded male figure, seen at the front of the vessel, may represent a sacrificial victim. It is interesting to note that one of the owl's feet appear to grip and morph into the hood that is seen on the male figure that is placed just below the body of the owl. The crab is also interesting in that the crab has anthropomorphized human-like eyes. The owl is also thought to represent the "magical flight" ecstatic trance state that was performed by Moche shamans and priests. The owl seen on this vessel also has a human designed eye, and may represent a shaman and/or priest in costume, or is in a state of transformation. (This ecstatic trance state was first described in 1638 by Antonio de la Calancha, in the historical Spanish document "Cornica Moralizada del Orden de San Augustin en el Peru, Con Sucesos Egemplares an esta Monarquia", Barcelona, Spain.) The ceramic offered here may represent the owl as presiding over the Moche sacrifices that are offered to the other world, due to the many attributes of the Moche owl deity as noted above, and as such is known as a "sacrificial rite vessel". (One of the few examples of this type of vessel was offered by Arte Primitivo, New York, June 2005, no. 329, $12,000.00-$15,000.00 estimates. The vessel offered by Arte Primitivo is also red-brown and cream colored, 10.5 inches high, and is Moche IV phase. See attached photo.) Ex: S. Benger collection, Germany, circa 1970's. Ex: G. Hirsch Nachfolger, Pre-Columbian Art Auction 257, Sept. 2008, no. 179. Ex: Private New York collection. (Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : South American : Textiles : Pre AD 1000 item #1338394
Apolonia Ancient Art
$875.00
This scarce piece is a Bolivian textile that dates circa late 19th century, and is approximately 26.25 inches wide by 34.5 inches long. This Bolivian "Ahuayo" type textile is generally woven in alpaca, and sometimes sheep wool was added as well. This attractive example also has a very tight weaving design and there are many knots per square inch. The weaving of this piece took and great deal of skill, as well as time, because the weaving is very fine and detailed. This piece has alternating striped bands in light purple, teal blue, white, red, and rose colors. This piece is stitched from two halves, with a slit in the middle that forms a poncho. This piece was also likely made for a child or a young man judging from the overall size of the piece. The fabric holding both halves together also appears to be somewhat old, and may have been done at a later date. The piece also appears to be in extremely fine condition, and is intact. The colors are also vibrant for the period, and this piece is a scarce example. This piece is also analogous to the example seen in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, May 1986, no. 35. ($800.00-$1,200.00 estimates, $1,045.00 realized. See attached photo.) This piece can also easily be mounted in a clear Plexiglas case which would enhance it's high eye appeal. Ex: Howard Rose collection, New York circa 1980's. Ex: Private Santa Fe, NM, collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1207767
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
This scarce Pre-Columbian piece is a Mayan cylinder vessel that dates Late Classic, circa 550-950 A.D. This attractive piece is approximately 7 inches high by 4.9 inches in diameter. This superb to mint quality vessel is a "Molded Orangeware Vessel", El Salvador/Honduras region, that has well-defined mold made impressions seen within two box-shaped fields seen on each side of the vessel. Each box-shaped field has a standing Mayan priest/dignitary holding an elongated rectangular object in his extended right hand, and the other panel shows this rectangular object hanging on the right elbow of this standing individual. This standing Mayan priest/dignitary seen within both panels has his head placed within a raptorial beaked bird, which may represent a sacred "Moan Bird", and this raptorial beaked bird is likely a ceremonial headdress. This individual is also seen wearing royal ear flares and bracelets, has a water-lily emerging from his lips, and is wearing a sashed lioncloth. There is also a stippled woven mat pattern seen in the background, and the overall composition on both panels have very sharp details and is better than most examples. In addition, each panel shows this standing individual in a slightly different position, and this design conveys a slight movement of this individual, as one views this exceptional piece from panel to panel. This convention of art relative to Mayan ceramics, is generally seen on scarce to rare Mayan molded vessels of this type. This intact piece also has some attractive light gray burnishing, some minute root marking, and spotty dotted black mineral deposits. An analogous example is seen in Sotheby's Pre-Columbian Art, New York, Nov. 24, 1986, no. 127. ($1,500.00-$2,500.00 estimates, $2,750.00 realized. See attached photo.) Ex: Private CA. collection, circa 1980's. Ex: Private CA. collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1234584
Apolonia Ancient Art
$2,675.00
This extremely rare piece is a Moche "open topped" jar that is Moche V Period, circa 500-700 A.D. This piece is approximately 5.6 inches high, by 5.25 inches wide at the base. This interesting piece is a polychrome black-ware vessel, and has a nice glazed surface with some attractive dark brown burnishing. This type of Moche "portrait vessel", is generally seen within the Moche V Period, and is often associated with "open topped" vessels with an extended neck. The extremely rare piece offered here is intact, has some spotty mineralization, and some attractive minute root marking. This piece shows a man with a facial deformity, as the face is seen caved in with a diminutive nose and an extended lower jaw. The man is also seen looking straight ahead with what appears to be a forlorn facial expression. This piece was collected circa 1960's by Dr. Ernst J. Fisher, who collected Moche art/ceramics that were medical related, and often depicted individuals with diseases and/or deformities. The Moche were known for their realistic ceramic portraiture of individuals, and the vessel seen here is a prime example of their skill for realism in portraiture, and it is likely that this piece depicted an actual individual. The most common view of the deformed face of the individual depicted here, is that this deformity was the result of a disease such as Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis (ML), and this disease is found today in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru. ML is contracted from a sand fly bite, and subsequently, ML symptoms include painful nodules inside the nose, perforation of the nasal septum, and enlargement of the nose and lips. Untreated, the disease leads to ulcerated lesions and scarring and tissue destruction predominately in the face and extremities which can be disfiguring (See MedicineNet.com for more information regarding this disease.) This piece likely displays the disease noted above, as the final stage of this disease is a collapse of the nasal septum followed by death. This piece may also have been a votive type piece, as this disease was regarded by the Moche as a sacred sign of the Gods, and consequently, this type of "portrait vessel" is extremely rare. Ex: Dr. Ernst J. Fischer collection, Germany, circa 1960's. Ex: Private German collection. (Note: Additional documentation is included for the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1249675
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
This extremely rare piece is a Moche seated man that is Moche IV Period, circa 450-550 A.D., and is approximately 8.3 inches high. This interesting piece is intact, save for a filled stress crack in the upper stirrup-handle, and is in superb condition with vibrant dark red, light brown, and cream colors. This piece is a seated Moche man who is dressed with regal ear flares, a wrapped headdress, a dark red back sack, and a cream colored tunic. The individual portrayed here does appear to have some social status in a regal or religious context, as he is seen finely dressed, and he is also seen holding a ceramic in each hand which may point to a ceremonial activity. This individual displays a pronounced facial deformity, which was also held in high regard by the Moche, as this was thought to be a sign from the gods. Special status and sacredness may have been accorded to those who suffered diseases and other physical handicaps. The pronounced deformed face of this individual has skin drawn tight over the bones, and is likely the result of a tropical disease. The Moche were known for their realistic ceramic portraiture, and the piece offered here is a prime example of their skill for realism in portraiture. Moche ceramics that are medical related, and depict individuals with diseases and/or deformities such as this piece, are rare to extremely rare. Another analogous example that portrays a deformed face is seen in "The Spirit of Ancient Peru: Treasures from the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrara", Thames and Hudson Pub., by Kathlenn Berrin, San Francisco, 1997, no. 69. (See attached photo. This portrait-head type vessel seen in the Larco Herrara Museum may also be a portrait of the same individual as seen on the ceramic offered here. Both pieces have analogous features and are both Moche IV Period.) The individual seen here with the deformed face and diminutive nose was likely caused by a tropical disease known as Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis (ML), and this disease is found today in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru. ML is contracted from a sand fly bite, and subsequently, ML symtoms include painful nodules inside the nose, perforation of the nasel septum, and enlargement of the nose and lips. Untreated, the disease leads to ulcerated lesions and scarring and tissue destruction predominately in the face and extremities which can be disfiguring. (See MedicineNet.com for more information regarding this disease.) The piece seen here likely displays the disease noted above, rather than a battle injury, or a ritualistic mutilation, but whatever the case, this interesting piece is an extremely rare Moche vessel that is seldom seen on the market. Ex: Gayle Grayson Gallery, Chicago, Ill., circa 1980's. Ex: Estate of Daniel J. and Ruth Edelman, Chicago, Ill. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Stone : Pre AD 1000 item #1325875
Apolonia Ancient Art
$1,265.00
This complete piece is made of 22 tubular jade beads, along with a jade "Celt-God" pendant, which is also known as an "Ax-God" pendant. The beads strung together are approximately 22 inches long, and the "Celt-God" pendant is approximately 4 inches high by 1 inches wide near the base. This piece dates circa 200-500 A.D., and it was produced in northern Costa Rica, in an area known as the Atlantic Watershed region. The beads and pendant were "bow-drilled", with a hole created from drilling at each end. The beads are also a combination of different types of jade and jade-type stones, with some darker in color than others. The pendant shows "line-cut" design and is likely an anthropomorphic human image. One can see design "line-cut" work that looks like an open mouth and head at the top of the pendant. The back side is flat, and the "line-cut" design is seen on the concave front side. There is also minute mineral deposits and root marking seen on the pendant and most of the beads, and most, if not all of the beads appear to be ancient, and have mineral deposits and patina. These pendants had magical properties, and were worn as personal adornments which also conveyed that status and rank of the owner. The "Celt-God" pendant type was first developed by the Olmec circa 1200-1000 B.C., and this type of object was also votive. This type of object is also found in many pre-Columbian cultures in Mexico and Guatemala. This type of jade object is also explained in detail by Frederick Lange in "Pre-Columbian Jade", University of Utah Press, 1993. This piece can also be worn as is, and can also be displayed in the included custom display box. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1990's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pottery : Pre AD 1000 item #1181942
Apolonia Ancient Art
$3,275.00
This interesting and lively Moche ceramic dates circa 300-500 A.D., Moche III-IV periods. This mint quality piece is approximately 9.25 inches high, and is in intact condition with vibrant dark red and cream colors. This piece also has some attractive light brown burnishing, and minute root marking seen on the upper end of the spout and near the lower base of the vessel. This piece has a lively running deer, seen on each side of the vessel, and each deer faces a central dividing "double-bar" symbol which is seen at the front of the piece. This "double-bar" symbol may also represent a sacrificial "tumi", but more likely it simply is a "tie symbol", with a rope and/or cloth tied around the neck of the vessel. According to Elizabeth Benson in "Death-Associated Figures on Mochica Pottery", published in "Death and the Afterlife in Pre-Columbian Art", Washington D.C., 1973, p. 108: "The tie seems to be symbolic of offering or scarifice; I believe that tying is an integral part of the funerary ritual, and that the jar with the rope around the neck is the purest funerary symbol. The tied jar is perhaps in some way equivalent to the prisoner figure or the sacrificial limb or head". The dark red lively running deer are seen against a cream background, and are vibrantly portrayed with an upturned tail, a "floral-leaf" designed ear, an antler reaching forward at the top of the head, and a protruding hanging tongue. This piece also has a conical projection from the the top of the vessel, along with a seated frog that is seen centered at the top within a red fineline petal design, and the conical projection has an attached red stirrup handle seen on the side. This conical projection may represent a Moche ceremonial sacrificial club, as it is very analogous in shape to the terminal end of a wooden ceremonial sacrificial club that was found in Tomb I, Platform II, Huaca de la Luna, Peru. (See "Moche Art and Archaeology in Ancient Peru", National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Yale University Press, 2001, pp. 96-97, fig. 10. See attached photo.) The ceremonial sacrificial club also is associated with the "tie symbol" and the lively running deer seen on this vessel, as they may represent deer that are portrayed as being part of a Moche ceremonial deer hunt. According to Christopher Donnan in "Deer Hunting and Combat", seen in "The Spirit of Ancient Peru", Thames and Hudson, 1997, p. 54-55: "Deer are known to run with their tongues hanging out the sides of their mouths. No other animal in Moche art is shown in this way. Deer are known to run with their tongues out when they are winded or tired, and the artists may have intended to show them in this state. Moreover, when a deer is killed, the tongue will often drop out the side of the mouth through a gap that exists between the deer's incisor and molor teeth. In Moche deer hunting scenes, hunters consistently wear elaborate clothing, headdresses, and ornaments-attire that is altogether unsuited to the stalking and killing of deer. To understand why they are dressed this way, it is useful to consider the ethnohistoric records describing the great hunts practiced by the Inca. The best account is of a hunt held by the Inca ruler, Manco Inca, near the valley of Jauja in honor of Francisco Pizarro around 1536. On that occasion, 10,000 Indians formed a ring around an area 30 to 60 miles in circumference. They then closed toward the center, driving all the animals in the area before them, and forming several concentric rings as their circle grew smaller. When the circle was small enough, designated hunters entered it and killed as many animals as was desired." It's also quite possible that the deer seen on this vessel are portrayed at the point when they were ceremoniously killed, and that they were killed primarily for their blood for it's use in ceremony. In addition, the "floral-leaf" designed ear may also represent a deer's ear that has been engorged with blood from stressed running. The Moche placed a great deal of importance to the deer hunt, and the piece offered here shows artistic features that point to this fact. This mint quality piece is a scarce example of Moche fineline ceramics, and is seldom seen on the market. Ex: Private German collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Dr. Klaus Maria collection, circa 1980-2012. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser, including a TL test document from Gutachten Lab, no. 279006, dated July 6th, 1990.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Americas : Pre Columbian : Pre AD 1000 item #1340583
Apolonia Ancient Art
$4,675.00
These two rare Mayan pieces are two carved longbones that date to the Late Classic Period, circa 600-900 A.D. These pieces are approximately 4.3 and 4.6 inches high, and are approximately 1 inch in diameter at the widest point of each piece. These two pieces are intricately carved, and each feature the profile of a Mayan lord, who is seen wearing large jade earflares and an elaborate headdress. These pieces are also published in "The Face of Ancient America: The Wally and Brenda Zollman Collection of Precolumbian Art", Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1988, no. 84 (See attached photo.), and the following is the description of these rare pieces by John Carlson: "The headdresses contain images of long-lipped monsters. At the top of the bone pictured to the right is the profile face of some mammalian creature, possibly a peccary, which does have sky associations. The exact function of such carved bones in not known. They may have been handles for fans, bloodletter perforators, or even musical instruments. Some may also have been used as smoking tubes such as are usually depicted protruding from the forehead of God K. Schele and Miller have also discussed two fine examples of Mayan incised longbones; one is from a jaguar, and the other is a deer tibia. Both images and texts portray dynastic rites. Three additional bones published by Von Winning also present royal profile portraits, and two clearly show the drilled holes for suspension. These carved bones may have been worn as pectorals or attached to the costume for use in some specific, but as yet incompletely known dynastic function. In any case, all such carved bones are clearly high-status objects". The pieces offered here do not have any drilled holes for suspension, but could have, as there appears to be some of the leading edge missing on both ends of both pieces. These pieces are nearly complete, and are in superb condition for a perishable material such as bone, and are some of the best known published examples for the type. In addition, the carved bones offered here may be animal or human, and that fact was also unknown to the academics of the reference noted above, as the description reads: "Carved bone (human?)". The two sacred pieces offered here certainly had royal associations, and were likely used in some sacred regal ceremony and/or religious ritual. These two pieces also sit on a custom display stand, and can easily be removed. Ex: Wally and Brenda Zollman collection, circa 1970's. Published: "The Face of Ancient America", circa 1988. Exhibited: Indianapolis Museum of Art, circa 1988. Exhibited: Indiana University Art Museum, circa 1989. I certify that these pieces are authentic as to date, culture, and condition: